Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway

This is the mindset that brought about my recovery.

From November of 2010 until August of 2016 I was afraid. Change was needed, but my fear overwhelming.

I feared losing control, gaining weight, feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t know who I would be, or how I could cope without an eating disorder. It unnerved me to even ponder letting go of my food rigidity and exercise addiction. I was afraid to trust my dietitian, treatment team and ultimately: My own body.

My eating disorder was a coping mechanism for 6 long years. Even when I seemed to be doing okay (i.e. not in a hospital or treatment center of some type), I was still very much in the grips of anorexia. It kept me “safe” and I felt in control. That is, until it didn’t.

Finally, I reached a point in my life where I knew I would lose everything if I stayed in my disease. It was the Summer of 2016, I was wasting away to skin and bone. I could just envision what would happen if I did not change:  I would lose the ability to go to college, my boyfriend who I love dearly would probably move on, I would be sent to a treatment facility against my will… and the crushing reality- I could die.

Fear and Faith

Fear stems from a lack of faith. Whether you believe in God, the powers of the universe or nothing, fear arises when you face uncertainty and are scared to move forward into the unclear future.

Faith is the opposite of fear. Faith is trusting in advanced what will only make sense in reverse. And that is what I did.  I set aside my fear, and trusted the process.

That first step will be intimidating. This is where “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” comes into play. You put your head down, dig deep, and listen to that whisper inside you that says, “I can do this.”

Afterwords, I can tell you from experience that it will feel like the weight of the world is lifted off your chest. You will have a lightness about you because finally, after years and years of being alone, you finally have put your trust into something outside of yourself. For me it was God and my dietitian. I knew neither of them would fail me. Deep down my fear of staying in my eating disorder was greater than letting it go.

I wish I could make anyone struggling in life let go of their fear and trust the process. But I cannot. The reality is you must choose to change on your own. My hope for anyone reading this is that it does not take you 6 years. I pray that you may find your mustard seed of faith, and let it grow. I promise, the other side of fear is a beautiful place to be.

12 thoughts on “Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway

  1. Kate says:

    So many good points here. Recovery absolutely requires doing things while scared to death! I’d love to meet your dietitian because she sounds amazing.

    • sarah4rdfl@gmail.com says:

      You would love her Kate, she is so passionate about ED recovery and awareness. She has been one of my biggest role models through this process. I think your experience and journey will help so many of your future patients, you have so much to offer as an RD!

  2. Cora says:

    It’s that “letting go.” It’s so unbelievably scary. You can’t really explain the feeling, can you? All we know is that it feels wrong. But we have experienced that amazing lightness that comes when we DO let go and step into that fear, and that feeling is sooooo priceless.
    You are brave and courageous and I look up to you, my dear. <3

    • sarah4rdfl@gmail.com says:

      Letting go is definitely the hardest part of overcoming anything. It really is an unbearable feeling to be so torn inside, wanting to change but being so incredibly afraid to do so.Like you said, keep in mind that freedom that will come with letting go, because we both know it’s there! Thank you so much Cora, and I believe in you <3

  3. Leo Tat says:

    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    You make a good point; we must move into a place of fear before we could develop further.

    It’s like concentric circles. The inner circle is our comfort zone, and the outer is the fear zone. When we step out of our comfort zone into the outer circle, we will feel the fear at first, but then by being there, our inner circle grows and makes it part of the comfort zone too.
    Leo Tat recently posted…Why Are Eggs Good or Bad for You: Healthy or Unhealthy?My Profile

    • sarah4rdfl@gmail.com says:

      Leo I love this analogy! That outer circle is where we grow, and in my opinion, growth and change is what make life worth living.

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